The New Times (Kigali)

17 August 2013

Rwanda: The Plight of English Teachers Is Serious, Help Them

When it was decided to adopt English as the medium of instruction in Rwandan schools, the authorities knew it would not be a walk in the park.

Teething problems were expected and most have been surmounted. The most pressing problem was the availability of English teachers and mentors, therefore the country decided to recruit in neighbouring countries.

The teachers have been working, they have honoured their end of the bargain, it is now time for Rwanda Education Board (REB) to do the same.

If the 1000 teachers recruited for the exercise complain that the government owes them arrears in salaries and other benefits, how would REB have coped with 6,000, the original figure it had sought?

The best incentive for a worker is a conducive working environment and the right tools. If mentors can only receive their transport allowances after working for 12 months and their salaries are two months behind schedule, how does REB expect them to perform well?

These financial woes blot our government's image as an efficient well oiled machine that always has its house in order. It is a very pertinent issue that should be worked out urgently because our children's future cannot be entrusted in the hands of hungry and unmotivated teachers.

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